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Institutional failure led to Ebola outbreak “spiralling out of control,” says MSF

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 24 March 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1619
  1. Anne Gulland
  1. 1London

The international response to the epidemic of Ebola virus disease in west Africa has been characterised as a “global coalition of inaction” by the charity Médecins Sans Frontières in a report marking the first year of the outbreak.

The report, published on 23 March, the first anniversary of the World Health Organization’s first warning of an emerging outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Guinea, is damning in its criticism of WHO and the international response.1

The charity’s general director, Christopher Stokes, said that the outbreak has often been described as a “perfect storm”: it occurred in a region that had never experienced Ebola and that had poor health systems, porous borders, and widespread movement of people. However, he said that this was too “convenient an explanation.” He added, “For the Ebola outbreak to spiral this far out of control required many institutions to …

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